Was out for a drive at lunchtime and one of the local talk radio shows was actually discussing the sorry state of Pittsburgh sports, or something to that effect, mostly by linking the Steelers playoff loss and the recent losing streaks of the Penguins and Pitt basketball.
All manner of navel-gazing to downright hysterical Facebook posts and Twitter hashtags have been floating around all week with themes like #worstyearever and #beginningoftheend. And of course, the media (of which we are a part) eats it up and flogs it to death.
Take a breath, people.
Despite myriad injuries to crucial players -- Ben Roethlisberger, LaMarr Woodley and Maurkice Pouncey come to mind -- the Steelers went 12-4 and made the playoffs. They were upset in overtime in a game in which two more crucial defensive starters -- Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel -- were knocked out of the game early in the first quarter.
The Penguins, in the midst of a six-game slide are likewise contending with a brutal rash of injuries that includes the premier talent in the entire sport in Sidney Crosby, not to mention their top defenseman Kris Letang, and rising stars Jordan Staal and James Neal. They have half the season remaining in a league in which more than 50% of teams make the playoffs. It's hardly time to panic. They'll very likely be in this thing come April.
Pitt basketball, by all accounts, pretty much stinks right now. But jeeze, they've made the tournament every year for a decade. They're entitled to an off year.
'Disappoinment' might be an apt word for these three teams at this moment.
Granted Pitt football and the Pirates are in their usual dysfunction, and Penn State is an obvious catastrophe for unprecedented reasons.
But worst week ever? Worst year ever? Really?
I would posit the worst week ever in recent memory, wasn't even a week. More like the 48 period last year in which the Penguins lost Evgeni Malkin to a knee injury -- pretty much ending their Cup hopes after already losing Crosby -- and then the Steelers lost the Super Bowl to Green Bay. I mean that stings. That's some real pain right there.
And for sheer suckitude, let's take the wayback machine nine whole years to 2003.
The 6-10 Steelers are led by Tommy Maddox and look to be on the precipice of a major rebuild; the Penguins are absolutely putrid and with an NHL lockout looming their future in Pittsburgh is very uncertain; Pitt basketball was pretty good, Pitt football very average, and Penn State football very bad. The Pirates also had a season.
Furthermore, was no one in greater Pittsburgh even alive during the 1980's?
So, really, enough with all this. Fans and media -- some perspective, please.
Otherwise you'll come off like this jerk: